I think you all know that Montauk is over 100 miles from Manhattan, at the tip of Long Island's east end on the south fork. Those 100+ miles might as well be the difference between planets, so diverse is the landscape. Though Huntington is a beautiful town on Long Island's north shore, about 90 minutes from Montauk as the crow flies, it pales in comparison to this scenic, rustic and seemingly out of the way bastion of old world Long Island.
Unfortunately, signs of the Hamptons are slowly creeping into Montauk. Even off season, the restaurants (those that remain open year round) were expensive as were several of the novelty shops I visited. The saving grace is that Montauk is still not densely populated so that stretches of pine trees and beach are still visible from the road.
On the way to the hotel, this snowy vista greeted me, begging for a picture through the car's windshield. Can you believe how blue the sky is? It was like that the whole time I was there, from Friday through Monday afternoon.
You can tell how much snow there was, including this mound that blocked the view of the ocean from this scenic overlook.
The hotel is a gorgeous, hilltop old Tudor mansion that boasts 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites, 2 pools, a spa, restaurant, fitness center and spaces with fireplaces and cozy reading nooks. Views of the sunset from the bay facing rooms are astounding! Again, the sky almost seems painted into the photo.
In case you think I was exaggerating about the sunset view from the suite, look at this one. It was as if each evening's sunset tried to outdo the previous one!
I set the alarm for 6 am Sunday morning to catch what I've been told are legendary sunrises in this part of the world. Thanks to the beginning of Daylight Savings Time, I had a little more than an hour to get dressed, put together ingredients for mimosas and make the 15 minute drive to the Montauk Point Lighthouse. I took about 12 pictures of the sun rising, but only posted 4 so as not to bore you. Note how the cloud formation is different in every photo until they're completely gone in the last pic.
While the sun was rising and I was toasting the new day with a delicious mimosa, Beethoven's 9th Symphony was playing on the radio. Can you think of any better way to begin a day in paradise? The sunrise is not unlike the ones us lucky boaters enjoy from our cockpits, right?
There is something fascinating about a beach covered in snow. I have been mesmerized by the sight since I was a child. Not quite sure what the appeal is, but I love it!
The icing on the cake came on Sunday when it finally warmed up enough to put the top down! It was in the balmy mid-40s, so a scarf, a bit of heat, windows up, windscreen up and I'm good to go - and go I did!!
This was a memory-making weekend, much needed and appreciated after a nasty winter. Since I still must work to support my marine lifestyle, I had to do something nice locally that would be a mini-vacation yet be far enough from home to make it seem like a destination.
The exciting news is that I have plane tickets booked for mid-April to Norfolk, VA. That is where I am boarding Olympia so that I can be at the helm for the final leg of her trip home. I may have to work with the airline if the boat is either early or delayed, but Southwest (which has become my West Palm Beach-New York shuttle) is very good about changing travel dates. For those of you who have been following my dream unfold, you will recognize this leg as the culmination of the dream - sailing under the Verrazano Bridge and past the Statue of Liberty at the helm of my very own boat. In the old scenario, Tom would have been at the helm and I would have been happy to stand beside him. Now I will be at the helm and Tom will be standing beside me - as he is every day of my life.
Stay tuned for christening pictures. I sent my cousin a gentle reminder yesterday that we are all waiting to see his pictures. I felt brave blaming all of you.
Be back soon!